Posts Tagged ‘Frank LaMere’

Beer Profiteers Fight Oglala Lawsuit That Seeks Control of Alcohol Sales

Tuesday, June 5th, 2012


The Oglala Lakota elder spread out the map on her kitchen table. It showed the dry Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, where possessing, consuming or selling booze can land you in jail. “People living in the western part of the reservation can get alcohol in the border town of Oelrichs, South Dakota, where carryout is available, and I hear a second bar has just been built,” she said, sweeping her hand across the left side of the map. “If you live on the eastern side, around Allen, for example, you can drive over to Martin to drink or buy carryout. In the northern part of the reservation, you can go to [the town of] Interior. And of course, there’s Whiteclay, to the south of us in Nebraska.” (more…)

Crime Watch: Local activist calls for end to alcohol sales at Whiteclay

Friday, May 18th, 2012


The New York Times published an opinion piece by local activist Frank LaMere, who had strong words for beer distributor Anheuser-Busch.

LaMere, a Winnebago tribal member, joined the Times’ Nicholas Kristof’s criticism of the beer giant due to alcohol sales in Whiteclay, Neb. (more…)

Blood on Their Hands

Wednesday, May 16th, 2012


Frank LaMere is an activist and a member of the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska.

Frank LaMere

Any action short of shutting down Whiteclay and crippling the enterprise that peddles alcohol among the Lakota people is unacceptable. The death toll exacted on the Lakota people by Anheuser-Busch and its partners continues to rise, and the sooner the Sheridan County hell-hole can be leveled the better off Nebraska will be.

County, state and liquor industry officials have long known of the lawlessness and illegal activities that go on there, but they have been allowed to run from their responsibilities as public trustees by reducing the sad reality to a discussion about personal responsibility and market demand. (more…)

How to Address Alcoholism on Indian Reservations

Wednesday, May 16th, 2012

THE NEW YORK TIMES / Room for Debate / May 16, 2012

Whiteclay, Neb., outside the Pine Ridge Indian ReservationWhiteclay, Neb., just across the state line from the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. (Nicole Bengiveno/The New York Times)

In The New York Times earlier this month, Nicholas D. Kristof called for a boycott of Anheuser-Busch because of how the company’s products are affecting residents of an Indian reservation that has been decimated by alcoholism. The reservation is dry, but the nearby town of Whiteclay, Neb., (with a population of about 10 people) “sells more than four million cans of beer and malt liquor annually” and “is the main channel through which alcohol illegally enters the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.”

How can tribes, states, the federal government and local communities deal with alcoholism on and around reservations? If the beer companies and liquor stores are following the law, do they have a further responsibility to their communities?

These questions are discussed by Frank LaMere (Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska), Aneel Karnani (University of Michigan), Waheed Hussain (University of Pennsylvania), and Richard B. Luarkie (Governor, Pueblo of Laguna, N.M.)


Whiteclay Burn Victim Begins Long Medical—and Legal—Journey

Friday, April 13th, 2012

By Stephanie Woodard / April 13, 2012 / INDIAN COUNTRY TODAY

“He may never have full use of his hands again,” said Patricia White Bear Claws, of her longtime companion, Bryan Blue Bird Jr., who was severely injured in an early-March prescribed burn in Whiteclay, Nebraska. Set by the volunteer fire department from nearby Rushville, the blaze flared out of control and engulfed Blue Bird, a bystander. Both he and White Bear Claws are Oglala Lakota, from the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, which straddles the Nebraska–South Dakota border and adjoins the town of Whiteclay. (more…)

‘But we don’t do that at Whiteclay’: Health equity and social justice on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation

Wednesday, February 15th, 2012

by PAMELA MEJIA / bmsg blog / Feb. 15, 2012

The numbers are eye-catching: A town of 11 people sold 4.9 million cans of beer in one year. But the story of the Oglala Sioux tribe’s recent lawsuit against the country’s largest brewers is about more than a startling statistic. It’s another chapter in the tumultuous history of South Dakota’s Pine Ridge Indian Reservation (the setting of the 1973 Wounded Knee Incident and the shootout that lead to the arrest of Native American activist Leonard Peltier), which is again the site of tension between United States and Native authority. It’s yet another shameful example, too long ignored by the media, of how companies target communities of color for the sale of harmful products — in this case, alcohol. And it’s the story of the most highly publicized event in more than 10 years of a community’s efforts to combat this exploitation.

Last Thursday the Reservation’s Oglala Sioux tribe filed a lawsuit against beer manufacturers, distributors and retailers, who they claim have knowingly promoted alcohol abuse on the Reservation, where alcohol is illegal. The tribe is seeking half a million dollars in damages to offset the social and health costs of growing alcoholism – estimated at $8-9 million dollars a year. (more…)

Liquor and Ethnic Cleansing: Whiteclay, Nebraska

Friday, December 31st, 2010


For those of you who emailed about my recent post of social-justice advocate Frank LaMere’s Christmas meditation on Whiteclay, asking how this situation could have arisen and how it is allowed to continue, I’d like to pass along historical context provided by LaMere, who is executive director of Four Directions Community Center, in Sioux City, Iowa, and a member of the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska. Here is what he said: (more…)

The Holiest Place: A Prose Poem for the Christmas Season

Friday, December 24th, 2010


Frank LaMere, human-rights advocate, executive director of Four Directions Community Center, in Sioux City, Iowa, and member of the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska, sent me this prose poem and, with his permission, I share it with you here. — Stephanie Woodard

Christmas at Whiteclay

His father told him it was a forlorn and fearful place, where you could see life but no willingness to live and where ghosts beckon their relatives and the weak to leave this creation lest their suffering be prolonged… (more…)

Whiteclay movie, two speakers highlight Native American Heritage Month events

Thursday, October 28th, 2010

Published Thursday October 28, 2010

KEARNEY — A social and political activist and a film producer will speak at the opening event for Native American Heritage Month at the University of Nebraska at Kearney.

The event will be at 7 p.m. Monday [Nov. 1] in Copeland Hall Room 142. The presentation is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be available. (more…)

Concert aims to pressure state to take responsibility, change ugly story

Thursday, September 16th, 2010

Published Thursday September 16, 2010
THE READER (Omaha, Neb.)

Synopsis: The Whiteclay Advisory Committee, a local group of activists, hopes to bring the message about Whiteclay home with Sunday’s Concert for Whiteclay Awareness in Omaha. The concert (Sep. 19) features music from Michael Murphy, Cherokee singer-songwriter Michael Bucher and Oglala Lakota singer Duane Martin, Sr. (more…)